Darke County Center for the Arts’ upcoming fun fundraiser “Irish Wave” provides many crowd-pleasing attractions—Irish music, Irish food, Irish beer (well, the beer is from Cincinnati’s Rhinegeist Brewery, but close enough!) Perhaps the most exciting feature of the event may be the “Off to the Isle” raffle offering the chance to win a trip to the Emerald Isle.
Raffle tickets are on sale right now, and will be available at the March 16 event at Montage Cafe (if any remain by then); your chances of enjoying the luck of the Irish and winning the grand prize are pretty good, as only 75 tickets are being sold. And, even more relevant than good luck, those $100 ticket purchases contribute to DCCA’s ability to fulfill its mission of culturally enriching the community through presentation of outstanding performing artists, a circumstance benefiting lucky students who enjoy Arts In Education programs in their schools at no cost to themselves, as well as lucky families who can access tickets to DCCA’s Family Theatre Series for the extremely low price of $5 each.
Actually, the word “luck” is not Irish at all, but probably Middle Dutch, and derived from “luc,” a shortened version of “gheluc” meaning happiness and good fortune. Also, “the luck of the Irish” was not a phrase coined in Ireland, but was developed in this country during the gold rush years; and it was not meant as a compliment. Many of the most famous and successful miners were of Irish descent. Sadly, the Irish who had emigrated to the U.S. were initially derided by their new countrymen, and so those who struck it rich were said to be enjoying “the luck of the Irish” because everyone knew that it could only be sheer luck, not intelligence or hard work, that enabled such success for those recent arrivals from Ireland.
In spite of the phrase’s origin, most people look forward to enjoying “the luck of the Irish” on and around St. Patrick’s Day. DCCA’s celebration will include a performance by Ohio’s premier purveyor of Celtic music, Lone Raven; the quartet consisting of Craig Markley, his daughter Kara, Elizabeth Blickenstaff, and Neil Jacobs performs an eclectic blend of traditional music as well as their own original compositions. Skillfully employing over 20 instruments, they gleefully play everything from fiery Irish reels to haunting airs, sometimes inspiring lucky listeners to partake of joyful dancing or indulge in soulful introspection.
Of course, those attending events at Montage Cafe are always lucky, enjoying the opportunity to partake of the delectable dishes offered up by Montage proprietors Aaron and Michelle Cox, who can be counted upon to provide a plentiful array of Irish-themed hors d’oeuvres to please the palate of party-goers. And “Irish Wave” participants can look forward to exploring an enticing selection of beers sporting intriguing names, including two IPA’s, “Truth” and “Knowledge,” a blonde ale, “Cougar,” and “Squirrel,” a nut brown. But probably the most appropriate beverage for the evening is an Irish dry stout named “Luck.” In addition to their choice of four beers, each lucky “Irish Wave” ticket-purchaser will receive a commemorative glass to take home as a useful souvenir of the festive event.
The luck of the Irish will undoubtedly prevail for all those taking part in DCCA’s “Irish Wave,” regardless of who wins the “Off to the Isle” raffle. “Irish Wave” tickets cost $35; you can get yours by contacting DCCA at 547-0908 or [email protected], or at Montage Cafe in downtown Greenville.